Published on January 20th, 2012 | by AirplaneGuy.com Admin0
AvPad: Best Kneeboard Yet
I met Mike Ladd, maker of the AvPad (http://www.theavpad.com)at the aviation social media gathering at Oshkosh 2011. Sponsored by the good folks at Sennheiser Aviation (http://www.sennheiser-aviation.com), this event has become a favorite during Oshkosh. For a few hours all the bloggers and twitter’ers get to meet face to face and for once – interact in the real world. It’s also great to see real aviation companies supporting the growing aviation social media movement.
Mike’s product is ingeniously simple and solves two problems – holding your iPad (or iPad2) in the cockpit, and protecting it outside the cockpit. Cause if you have an iPad you HAVE to take it flying. I think there is a law against leaving it at home. Seriously. He’s designed a tough as nails, simple kneeboard that holds your iPad.
Mike from AvPad gave me his newest model at Oshkosh 2011 to review for the site. I was pretty stoked because I was looking at cover for my iPad2 anyway, and having one that was useful in the cockpit is even better. I don’t go flying every day, but I do use my AvPad every day. After having it for a while you will wonder how you lived with out it. Cliche, I know.
The AvPad is made from Cordura (R) Nylon (http://www.cordura.com), and opens like a book. That’s the same stuff that the military makes most of their rough and tough stuff from. The AvPad is ridiculously durable. I’ve beat up the AvPad every day since Oshkosh 2011 and it still looks brand-new!
The front has a pocket with a pen or stylus holder on the side. The back of the AvPad has an elastic strap with Velcro(R) (www.velcro.com) to secure it to your leg. The inside has straps to hold charts, papers or a notepad and your iPad or iPad2. When your not flying you can still access all the iPad buttons including the headset jack and the charging port even when the AvPad is closed and velcro’ed shut.
Strapping the iPad to your leg works really well. You’re iPad is ready when you need it and it ain’t going no where. I’ve found that it works well other ways too, like when I’m flying the Cirrus, I just fold the AvPad over (horizontally) and place it on my lap. I’ve found that if I stuff my keys or a cell phone between the covers of the AvPad, it put the iPad at just the right viewing angle.
Unlike most cases, you can easily remove the iPad. When I’m flying in my buddies Cessna 172, I bring along my Aviation Yoke Clip RAM Mount. Since the iPad easily slips out of the AvPad, it takes me two seconds to get it out and clip it into the RAM mount. An Otter box or other cases would take me 10 minutes!
Out of the cockpit, one of the best features is the ability to make the iPad free standing on a flat surface. At my desk I can set it up and listen to music, or keep up with Facebook and Twitter while I’m working on my computer. When I’m traveling, I’ll set it up to Skype with my wife and kids.
One of the drawbacks of the button placement on the iPad is that the power button and the volume buttons are in the upper right corner of the iPad. On the model that I have, the corner strap on the AvPad makes the little difficult to reach these buttons. But I found an easy work around was to not use the strap in the upper right corner. You don’t need all the straps to hold the iPad, so I usually use three straps (the upper left corner in the bottom two straps) and the iPad will stay secure for everyday use. Of course use this method at your own risk, don’t ask me to replace your iPad if it falls out!
Since then the strap design has changed a little. Mike told me “We did make modifications to the four corner straps since the problem we had in Oshkosh so 1) all four corners are now same/correct size and 2) we resolved the issue with the power button, making it easier to access. It does cover the slide lock slightly, above the power button, but it has not been an issue in our day-to-day use. We spoke with some users and easier access to the power button was more important than the slide lock.”. It’s great to see a company listening to it’s customers!
The AvPad (http://www.theavpad.com) is simple, durable and one of the must have aviation gadgets! You can get one from their website, be sure to tell Mike you saw it on AirplanePorn! Also be sure to check them out at Sun And Fun 2012 in Lakeland, FL, in Hangar C Booth 63.